Traveling around Saigon you’ll likely fill your pockets with a cornucopia of souvenirs. There are many treasured items you might want purchase to remember the rich history of Vietnam, but few will have the longevity of a cooking class.
At The Chopsticks, we specialize in creating the finest in traditional Vietnamese cuisine, using locally sourced ingredients purchased fresh from farmers’ markets every day and cooked with recipes passed down through generations.
We have two options when it comes to cooking classes: market visit or no market visit. We do, of course, recommend going along to the market. It not only provides a more diverse cultural experience, but also helps you to become accustomed to the ingredients before you start working with them.
Arriving at our restaurant in the morning, we’ll give you a sum of money and a shopping list, and then one of our local experts will whisk you off to the local farmers market. Then the challenge is to buy your whole shopping list within the budget provided, under the guidance of our instructor, picking the finest produce available within the market and haggling where necessary. Once you’ve sourced your ingredients, the next challenge will be to use them in the cooking class.
All of our classes take place in our restaurant’s courtyard, under the shade of our trees and hanging lanterns. We always close the restaurant when we hold cooking classes so we can provide an intimate and relaxed cooking and dining experience. You’ll get plenty of one-on-one time with the professional chef leading the class, with your market instructor on hand to help with translation and advice.
Our world-class chef will guide you through the culinary experience as the leader of this two-hour class, teaching you how to make traditional Vietnamese food from start to finish. The ingredients that you purchased within the market will be all that you need in order to make traditional dishes such as spring rolls, salads, as well as rice, noodle, and meat dishes. Along the way you’ll learn cooking secrets based on generations of tradition that you won’t find in any recipe book.
Participating in one of our cooking classes will help to introduce the benefits of a healthy Vietnamese diet into your life. A traditional Vietnamese diet, before the invention of the deep fat fryer, consisted of nutritious soups, salads, rice, and noodle dishes, packed full of healthy vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and proteins. The true benefit of a meal in Vietnam, however, is the culture that surrounds the occasion. We eat with friends, family and work colleagues, making each meal a social event. Eating Vietnamese food encourages people to be social, taking time to slow down and talk.